The connections that people form with animals are different than any connection a person can have with another individual. While non-human animals can’t communicate with words, we are able to form strong bonds with them and maintain mutually beneficial relationships through the care and company we provide to each other. These connections can provide a lot of support for people, whether they simply want a pet to have fun with, need emotional support pets, or require a service animal to help them through potentially life-threatening situations.
Whatever purpose they serve, animals are very important in the lives of their human companions.
Benefits of emotional support pets
Whether or not they serve as emotional support pets, animals are proven to help people’s overall health. According to the Benchmark Senior Living blog, a study regarding the use of pets in a medical setting “found that heart attack patients who owned pets lived longer than those who didn’t. Another early study found that petting one’s own dog could reduce blood pressure.” These studies revolve around the use of pets to relieve the stress recovering patients experience.
Whether they are helping individuals with mental illness or depressed seniors, emotional support pets can provide daily structure for their human companions as well as emotional stability. This makes them a large asset for people who need a little extra company or a small push to get out of bed in the morning. Even for individuals who simply want pets for fun receive the health benefits of decreased stress, lower blood pressure and a tendency to avoid doctor visits.
Emotional support pets are subject to certain privileges in regards to housing, however, as responsible caretakers, it’s important that pet owners make sure they can take care of their animal companions. This means providing them with personal space and the daily activity they need to be safe and healthy in an apartment or other living arrangements. Depending on the size and breed of dog, they may need lots of space to move around and remain engaged throughout the day. If you are someone who hates walking and does very little of it, be aware of the sacrifices that will be needed to provide a pet with the exercise and activity they need.
Benefits of service animals
Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities, such as guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf and protecting people who are prone to seizures. These duties make them essential in the life of a person with disabilities and are the reason they receive a lot of leeway in regards to where they may enter and costs for transporting them. The American Disabilities Act protects individuals who depend on service animals and has established laws to consider them an extension of the individual.
Emotional support pets also may provide life-altering care for their human companions. While they satisfy many individuals’ needs, their lack of assistance training keeps them from receiving service animal classification. This is often a subject of controversy among the animal companion community, as many people consider emotional needs to be as debilitating as the needs that service dogs serve. For a variety of medical purposes, however, this distinction this remains.
While these classifications make all the difference in the privileges an emotional support or service animal have, patients’ doctors have the final say in how to classify these animals. Many privileges extend through to emotional support animals, as they also provide a service for their companions and it can be complicated to deny them certain privileges, depending on the individual to whom they provide company. Pet therapy has been proven to help stressed adults, as well as lonely seniors, which causes them to be welcomed in a large range of establishments.
Animals provide many benefits to their human companions, whether they are measurable and physical benefits or simply strong emotional support that allows people to breathe and focus more easily. Service animals have practical and tangible responsibilities, which can make their presence the difference between life and death for disabled patients.
Emotional support pets are often crucial to their companions’ mental health, which is also extremely important. Pets provide an important service to their owners, and while their classifications may vary, they form incredibly special relationships with people that can’t be compared.
– Noah Rue